Friday, February 24, 2012

speaking to the geelong quilters

last saturday i spent a lovely, if nerve-wracking, few hours with the Geelong Patchwork and Quilters guild. My friend and mentor, Dijanne Cevaal asked me if i could come and speak at the guild's first meeting for 2012 about what i do to fabric and fibres.

This seemed a fine if rather scary prospect and, with Kind Dog's help and tech support, I did a powerpoint presentation, organised a slideshow of my work for my ipad and gathered up some examples of my work for people to see in the flesh. 

there was a moment of consternation when about 5 minutes away from the venue and showtime, Kind Dog realised that the connector cable had been left behind. So while he zoomed off in search of an Apple connector cable merchant, I went in.

and found what seemed like 600 million quilting ladies all stitching away on heirloom quality quilts. to me they seemed to personify the Quilt Police and i thought i would be met with stony silence and then shredded.

diajnne assured me that i would be safe and that no one would bite me so i relaxed a bit.

until i found out that there was no access to the electronics and the powerpoint option was kaputsky.  whereupon my knees and brain and confidence sagged and i felt like fleeing the room, while kicking myself for not double-checking....

but then i was introduced to some of the fierce quilters who turned out to be just lovely and kind and very reassuring since i clearly looked terrified.

and Kind Dog turned up with a new connector cable and found out he was about to be pressed into service as an easel. luckily i had written notes (albeit spread across 3 notebooks - what was i thinking? hiding behind a powerpoint presentation was what i was thinking...)

and i just jumped in. here i am being introduced by dijanne..
 taking questions
and juggling the notebooks.
while i was speaking Kind Dog, Dijanne and Liana walked around the room showing people some of my work. These were some of the pieces i took:

 caput mortuum
 land, sea, alchemy
 talisman II
 burnt landscape
brave new world
my talk had 2 themes:
  • my work is based on traditional techniques. they may look different and use different materials but they are all stitched layers of fabric, using the same techniques that are used in traditional patchwork and quilting.
  • technical proficiency allows me to use the medium to express feeling, emotions and work through painful subjects
despite the nerves and technical hitches i had a lovely time and am very grateful that i was invited to speak and that the guild members were so welcoming and interested in my work.  And they paid me!! it was my first paid gig as a speaker about my textile work and that was a real thrill.

they even gave me a badge


Kathryn said...

Good on you! And what a lucky group to hear you speak and get to admire your artwork "in the flesh"! You look remarkably cool, calm and collected in the photos despite all the tech issues. Talk about a duck swimming!

sandra wyman said...

Brilliant! And so good to see so much of your work all in one place.
Wonderful, Lisette